Drake’s Take: New Releases 05.13.08

This week Drake gets all international and shit (and I lose my G rating). -ed.

Drake’s Take: New Releases 05.13.08

While there’s plenty of releases to be interested in, it’s a bit of a downer in my usual idiom. Mostly because I already profiled the latest release from The Black Angels a few weeks ago, touched on the debut from Welsh singer Duffy yesterday, and have never really been much of a Death Cab For Cutie fan (even while their latest is far more interesting than their major label debut Plans, I’m ultimately going to pass on it). One album of interest is latest rock-soul release from The Bellrays, along with new releases from Vetiver, We Are Scientists, Dosh, Modey Lemon, and Plant Life. Instead, though, let’s venture out to that much maligned genre of world music and take a look at a couple international releases, from Brazil (Kassin +2) and Senegal (Orchestra Baobab).

Playlist: New Releases 05.13.08

Album: Kassin +2 – Futurismo

Kassin +2 - FuturismoInstead of living in the shadow of his famous father Caetano, Brazilian brood Moreno Veloso has forged his own path outside his father’s work. Testament to that is the fact that Moreno has rotated the artist’s name for each release with collaborators Alexandre Kassin and Domenico Lancelotti. Moreno +2 brought Music Typewriter in 2000, followed by one under the name Domenico +2 (Sincerely Hot, 2004,) and now Futurismo rotating to Kassin’s name — in each case giving up the microphone to the namesake, for the most part. The updated take on Bossa Nova is refreshing, and if it sometimes sounds like The Sea and Cake, it’s partially due to a contribution to drummer/producer John McEntire. Also lending a hand to the work is Sean O’Hagan (The High Llamas, Stereolab,) adding to the indie rock leanings of this Luakabop release, and fitting considering both McEntire and O’Hagan’s have mined the Musica Popular Brasileira landscape for some time. I think it’s my official beach album for the summer.

Free album stream from AOL
DOWNLOAD: Kassin +2 – “Ya Ya Ya” [mp3]

Album: Orchestra Baobab – Made in Dakar

Orchestre Baobab - Made in DakarFormed in 1970, this Senegalese band merged Afro-Pop with Cuban Son becoming one of the biggest bands in West Africa in the 1970s. By the 80’s, their popularity had wained, and even though they had recorded their greatest album, Pirates Choice, the band broke up. Shortly after the Buena Vista Social Club documentary and craze, there got to be a high demand for Baobab recordings in Europe, specifically Pirates Choice, which was reissued to critical acclaim in 2001. On the heels of the reissue the band reformed to play at the official home for international musical reunions – London’s Barbican Centre. They’ve recorded a couple albums since, but Made in Dakar, originally released overseas late last year, is the first to truly capture the energy and spirit of Pirates Choice, making it a must buy. Imagine a more polyrhythmic BVSC, and you get a closer picture of what this Afro-Cuban outfit has to offer. (Vampire Weekend have nothing on these legends.)

More on the radar this week:
The Black Angels – Directions to See a Ghost
Old 97’s – Blame it on Gravity
Duffy – Rockferry
The Bellrays – Hard, Sweet & Sticky
Death Cab For Cutie – Narrow Stairs / Free album stream from AOL
Dosh – Wolves and Wishes / “If You Want To, You Have To” [mp3]
E for Explosion Reinventing the Heartbeat (Free AOL album stream)
Vetiver – Thing of the Past
We Are Scientists – Brain Thrust Mastery / Free album stream from AOL
Modey Lemon – Season of Sweets
Plant Life – Time Traveller
Ghost of Russian Empire – The Mammoth
The Submarines – Honeysuckle Weeks
Dan Zanes and Friends – Nueva York!
Moomaw – 26 / “March” [mp3]
Lau Nau – Nukku / “Lue Kartalta” [mp3]
Patti Rothberg – Double Standards
Gregor Samsa – Rest / “Dance Dance Dance” [mp3]
Foxy Brown – Brooklyn’s Don Diva
Skybombers – Take Me To Town
Fern Knight – Fern Knight
The Botticellis – Old Home Movies / “Old Home Movies” [mp3]
Pomegranates – Everything is Alive
The Grails – Take Refuge in Clean Living
The Presets – Apocalypso / Free album stream from AOL
Nick Jaina – The 7 Stations / “Maybe Cocaine” [mp3]